FOSTER’S FAILED. PERNOD RICARD SUCCEEDED. So what was the difference in their strategy. For Foster’s it was a stubbornness to create a brand extension for the ‘common man’ – a non-premium brand that would be appreciated by the masses. Suntory, a Japanese competitor, took the step down and built huge market share as a consequence. Owners of Chivas Regal, did not make the same mistake. Pernod Rickard, knew that a change was needed to make Scotch whisky more palatable to the Chinese taste, and so introduced a mixer – green tea. Today, in China, green tea and Chivas is the choice of karaoke goers nationally. The lesson, says Morry Morgan, is that if you hold onto your traditional brand position, then you may suffer at the hands of the non-traditional, Chinese consumer.
Morry Morgan is the author of ‘Selling Big to China – Negotiating Principles for the World’s Largest Market‘. He has been training Global 1000 firms across China and Asia Pacific in the field of sales and negotiation skills since 2001. He speaks regularly across the region and has been featured in China Daily, The Australian Financial Review, and India’s The Hindu.